My colleague Jon Marcus wrote an interesting piece today explaining why community college graduation rates are actually double what the data usually show. That’s because many students transfer and eventually earn a degree somewhere else. Instead of a dismal 18 percent graduation rate, new data from the National Student Clearinghouse suggests that the community college graduation rate is greater than 33%. (I calculated that by multiplying 60% by 25%, which is the percent of students that transfer to 4-year institutions and eventually graduate, and added that to the original 18% graduation rate).
We don’t call someone a high school drop out if they switched high schools and eventually graduate. Why do we do that for community college transfers?